Expedition Locates Wreckage of the USS Ward, the Destroyer that Fired the First American Shots of World War II
December 7, 2017 by gCaptain
The expedition team aboard Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s research vessel RV Petrel have located and now documented the deepwater wreckage of the USS Ward, which is credited with firing the first American shot of World War II during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The expedition team released detailed video and images of the historic wreckage this week in the lead up to today’s 76th anniversary of the attack.
The wreckage is located in Ormoc Bay off Ponson Island in the Philippines, and until recently had been unseen since it sank at the hands of Japanese kamikaze planes in 1944.
The USS Ward was a Wickes-class destroyer that is famously known for firing the first American shot of the war at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941 just outside of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the ship and its crew sighted and sank a Japanese midget submarine. The submarine they sank was one of five top secret Japanese vessels, each armed with two torpedoes that intended to penetrate the harbor under cover of darkness before the attack began.
The enemy air attack on Pearl Harbor, and throughout Oahu, started about an hour after the USS Ward sank the midget submarine, according to historians.
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